Courts Update J&K HC puts stay on reduction of salary against...

J&K HC puts stay on reduction of salary against those appointed under Prime Minister’s Special Package for Kashmiri Migrants

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Jammu and Kashmir Aug 11 (ILNS): The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on August 09, in an interim order, stayed any coercive steps against the Petitioners so as to reduce their salary or to effect any recovery from the Petitioners who were appointed under the Prime Minister’s Special Package for Kashmiri Migrants.

The Petitioners Akshay Koul and others have approached the High Court against the order dated August 2, 2021, passed by the Central Administrative Tribunal, Jammu Bench, Jammu. The Tribunal by the said order has declined to consider the application for grant of interim stay to the Petitioners as it proposed to decide the Original Application itself on the next date fixed.

The Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Sanjay Dhar while considering the Petition held that since the question involved before the Central Administrative Tribunal is of importance, it is better than the controversy is resolved finally rather than keeping it pending and creating confusion for time to come. Therefore, the Tribunal has not erred in fixing an early date in getting the Original Application decided.

The controversy allegedly involved before the Tribunal is that whether the Petitioners who were appointed under the Prime Minister’s Special Package for Kashmiri Migrants notified vide SRO 412 of 2009 dated 30.12.2009 could be brought within the purview of S.O 194 of 2020 dated 17.06.2020 whereby amendments were made to SRO 202 of 2015.

Shuja ul Haq, Advocate for the Petitioners submitted that the SRO 202 of 2015 was not applicable to the Petitioners and, therefore, S.O 194 of 2020 cannot be applied.

Taking advantage of the pendency of the Original Application and the fact that no interim order has been passed therein, the respondents are reducing their salary by applying S.O 194 of 2020, alleged the Counsel.

“To balance the interest of both the parties, we dispose of this writ petition with the direction that the Tribunal will endeavor to decide the Original Application of the petitioners on the date already fixed i.e., 20.09.2021 and in the case for any reason, it is not possible for it to decide the Original Application on the said date, at least the application for interim direction shall be considered and decided on merits and till 20th September 2021, no coercive steps shall be taken against the petitioners so as to reduce their salary or to effect any recovery from the petitioners on the basis of S.O 194 dated 17.06.2020”, the order reads.

It is pertinent to note that in 2009 the then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh announced a special job package for Kashmiri migrants in order to rehabilitate them back in Kashmir valley. Recently the General Administration Department (GAD) has issued an order by making SO-194 applicable to all those PM package employees who were appointed after 17th June 2020. Under SO-194, the migrant employees who are working in Kashmir valley will be getting only basic salaries without any allowances like HRA, DA, TA, Medical Allowance, and no increment during the probation period. These posts are supernumerary posts and the funds for their salaries are not borne on the establishment of J&K UT. The funds for their salaries are borne completely by the Centre Government so as such applicability of SO-194 to these supernumerary posts does not arise./ILNS/SS/SNG

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